Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Baking Results - Pumpkin Bread

For baking novices it’s hard to believe that a gently sweet, tender bread studded with plump, chewy raisins can be simple to make. But, it is! Basically you just mix a bunch of ingredients in a bowl, pour it into loaf pans, and then bake it. The bread is delicious spread with peanut butter for breakfast and makes a great hostess gift. (I’ve decided that this is my new hostess gift strategy – bringing them something to eat for breakfast the next day.)

Here’s the recipe, and I highly recommend it:

Pumpkin Bread

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups or 1 can pumpkin
1 cup raisins (or cranberries or a mix of the two)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans but walnuts would also work)
1/2 cup coconut
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease four small loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl stir together the dry ingredients (flour through baking soda).
3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the four loaf pans and place in the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the tops of the bread are firm and golden and a toothpick inserted into the breads comes out relatively clean.
5. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Then remove the loaves from the pans and cool them completely on a wire rack.

P.S. These loaves freeze extremely well. Once they’re completely cool, wrap them in aluminum foil and then place them in a zip-top plastic bag. Thaw on the counter.

P.P.S. Check out the great four-loaf pan above -- they're all connected! From New York Cake and Baking.

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